Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baby Swaddle Blankets with Crochet Edging

I am a big fan of swaddling babies. My first baby LOVED to be swaddled. The problem is having the right blanket. I live in Texas so they need to be light-weight. I know a lot of people love Aden + Anais Blankets but I prefer a cheaper option. Made has a tutorial for making blankets from gauze fabric, but personally I don't like gauze. I think it has a coarse, scratchy texture. My favorite blankets to use for swaddling are simply made from a single layer of flannel. 
 I bought this flannel fabric from Jo-Ann's a few weeks ago when the flannel was on sale 60% off

To make one yourself all you need is 1 and 1/4 yard of flannel. Then trim the selvages and finish the edges. There are several options for finishing the edges. If you are lucky enough to own a serger, you can simply serge the edges (very quick too!) or if you're like me and don't have that option you can simply fold over the edges and sew along the edges. (Dana's gauze blanket tutorial shows how to do that)

But if you want a fancier finish and know how to crochet, this tutorial is for you.

You will need
  • 1 and 1/4 yard of flannel fabric (about a 45" x 45" square)
  • Crochet thread. You can find this at most craft stores that sell yarn. I have had the best luck finding the most colors at Hobby Lobby.
  • A teeny tiny crochet hook. I used a size 7 (1.65mm) hook.
There are two options for getting holes into your fabric. The first is to use your crochet hook to poke a hole through. Those tiny crochet hooks are sharp enough to do this and flannel has a generally loose weave that it is easy enough. You simply poke holes as you single crochet along the fabric eye-balling the distance.
The second way is to use a big sharp needle with a large enough eye to run the crochet thread through (like a tapestry needle or doll needle) and blanket stitch around the entire blanket. Then you crochet in the blanket stitches.
ARCHES PATTERN:
Row 1: Single crochet around the blanket (either directly in the blanket by poking holes as described above or work 3 single crochets in each blanket stitch, and 5 in the corners). Slip stitch to join.
Row 2: chain 4, skip 2 stitches, single crochet in the next stitch, repeat. Slip stitch to join. Finish off.
SIMPLE BORDER
Row 1: Single crochet around the blanket (either directly in the blanket by poking holes as described above or work 3 single crochets in each blanket stitch, and 5 in the corners). Slip stitch to join.
Row 2: Half Double Crochet around entire blanket. Slip stitch to join. Finish off.
If you are making a blanket for a baby girl, here is a pattern that is more feminine. I made this pink blanket before I found out I was having a boy. It is now the baby doll's blanket.
SCALLOP
Row 1: Single crochet around the blanket (either directly in the blanket by poking holes as described above or work 3 single crochets in each blanket stitch, and 5 in the corners). Slip stitch to join.
Row 2: single crochet, skip 2, 5 double crochet in the same stitch, skip 2 repeat around blanket. Slip stitch to join. Finish off.


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